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Coronation Cup a possible starting point for Enable

27 Mar 2018

Defence of the King George at Ascot and Juddmonte International on agenda for star filly

A defence of the he King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is on the cards for Enable. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Enable could make her seasonal debut in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom.

An alternative starting point to the QIPCO British Champions Series contest for the outstanding filly is the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland five days earlier.

The John Gosden-trained four-year-old lit up last season and won five Group 1 contests, with three of them – the Investec Oaks, QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Darley Yorkshire Oaks – falling under the Champions Series umbrella.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, was in Newmarket on Monday for the launch of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million and afterwards gave an update on Enable’s wellbeing.

“Enable is in very good form and has physically done very well,” he said. “She got put back a little bit by the cold weather in Newmarket, like most fillies she would prefer it warmer than colder. She is coming on well and is happy and cantering.

“She has not been asked to do anything spectacular yet, but everyone seems pleased with her.

“I think it is likely the Prix Ganay will come too soon for her with the way she is. It is not entirely ruled out, but I would suspect it has come a bit too soon. That leads us on to either the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the end of May or the Coronation Cup.”

He added: “Really and truly the main aim is the Arc, probably preceded by the Juddmonte and the King George.

“Prince Khalid likes to try and win his races if he can, as any sponsor does, and the Juddmonte is a very important race to us in every way. I don’t see why that won’t be on the agenda, but the defence of the King George is also important and at the top of the tree is the Arc.”

Grimthorpe believes there is every chance Enable will clash with stablemate Cracksman, runaway winner of last season’s QIPCO Champion Stakes, at some stage this campaign.

“I don’t think Anthony Oppenheimer (Cracksman’s owner) would have any qualms taking us on and we certainly wouldn’t have any taking on him,” he said.

“I think it is important for the top horses to be taking each other on for the top prizes. It is exciting for racing fans and it gives a lot to the season. You have two top-class horses returning and at that level. I certainly think it will be fascinating.”